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December 10, 2012

Dogs Help Students Deal With Study Stress

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If only all my holiday shopping could be as simple as it is to shop here at BaxterBoo: no struggling to find a parking space, no crowds, and no lines!

As I was shopping at the local mall and generally overwhelmed by the mass of holiday shoppers, I was pleased to have a friendly young woman chat with me as she rang up my purchases. I commiserated with her about the stress of dealing with the masses through the holiday season, but she said it was nothing compared to getting through college finals and balancing a job in retail through the busiest time of the year.

I continued to reflect on my interaction with this young lady who seemed to be navigating through stress gracefully. I concluded that if more students approached challenges with a positive attitude like hers, there is definitely hope for the future!

Utilizing Dogs to Improve Morale

I've recently begun to hear of programs at colleges that have introduced therapy dogs into study hall areas during breaks to help alleviate some of the stress of students face during the finals. The act of petting and interacting with a dog is proven to lower blood pressure levels, and you can see from the video how much this impacts the students.

The students seem to really benefit from the dogs that bring them a reminder of home. One young man noted how there weren't too many smiles with all the pressure of finals week, but bring in a dog or two, and a contagious positive attitude is restored.

Attitude is Everything!

A positive attitude is important, especially when dealing with stressful situations, whether it be the chaos of holiday shopping, work stress, an illness, or the demands of a college education. I applaud adding the benefits of therapy dogs to schools, hospitals, and even the workplace to decrease stress and improve morale. It's a simple solution that works!

And like my time at the mall, watching a young person navigate through stress with a smile made my day brighter too! I wonder if she has a dog?

Featured dog photo by Melody.loves.you.

Debbie on December 10 at 1:11 PM said:

I think that's a wonderful idea that all colleges should consider.
Aileen on December 10 at 1:38 PM said:

During the 2 years our daughter lived in the UCLA dorms, whenever we visited her, we would bring along our 9 y.o. rescued border collie and hang out in the grassy slope area outside of Deneve Plaza. The dog loved being "worked" by the college kids and the kids loved having "access" to a beautiful and well-trained dog. It made a lot of campus people smile - even the campus security and grounds keepers smiled when they saw the crowds with our dog. It was a win-win situation for everyone.

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